Cue the “Jaws” theme music. Carmageddon is back. The city of Los Angeles is closing a 10-mile length of Interstate 405 from 7pm on Friday, September 8th, until 5am the following Monday morning. One of the busiest and most frequently gridlocked highways will be shut down, leaving hundreds of thousands of drivers to fend for themselves in finding alternative routes around the overpopulated city. Here at APC, we ask the residents of LA: is this a blessing in disguise?
The city of Los Angeles has been synonymous with overcrowding, overpopulation, and worst of all: traffic. This blog writer has spent 4 years fighting beltway traffic on Interstate 495, just outside of Washington DC, and nothing could’ve prepared me for the time that I’ve spent in LA. I thought I was pretty clever when I timed my drive through downtown LA at 1am on my way home from Ventura, but apparently 10,000 other drivers had the same idea. I was swamped.
For this coming weekend, it’s only going to get worse - or will it?
Residents everywhere are gearing up for the second year of the infamous Carmageddon. Food is flying off of the shelves in supermarkets faster than it would the night before a hurricane, and once again, people expect to be trapped in their homes for a few days.
This is a bad thing, right? Maybe not. Weekends are commonly just as stressful as the work week, if not more so. I personally feel the pressure every weekend to spend my “free” time accomplishing a project around the house, or bouncing all over the city, trying to cram as many friends and as much fun into a 24 hour day as possible. Often times you spend the entire weekend worrying about making the weekend a justifiable reward to how hard you worked during the week.
This is the weekend where you put all of those worries aside. Forget about taking 3 trips to Home Depot to fix the shelves in the kitchen cabinets – that’s for next weekend. This isn’t the dreaded SoCal rolling blackouts. In fact, Angelenos will find themselves with all of the amenities that their place of residence normally provides, along with some time to actually enjoy them for a change. Hang around the house with your family. Catch up on some sleep. Give your parents a call (we know you’ve been meaning to). Eat well, sit back with a drink in the sun, and have some good conversation with those that you care about. This “staycation” might be exactly what the doctor ordered to get your head on straight. Chances are, all of those things you HAVE to do this weekend will be there next weekend.
“Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering”. Do you know who said that? That’s right. Winnie the Pooh.
We’ve got a lot to learn from those little guys. Maybe I’ll spend the weekend lounging on the couch, re-watching some of my childhood cartoons. After all, I’ve got nothing to do this weekend.